‘Bhakthi’ and its varied, intoxicating moods filled the air at the Koothambalam of the Vyloppilli Samskrithi Bhavan on Sunday morning.

Holding court at the facility was noted Kuchipudi guru Kalaimamani Madhavapeddi Murthy who enlightened a group of youngsters on the nuances of the dance form and the intricacies of ‘bhakthi’.

Using his guru Vempatti Chinna Satyam’s first dance drama to better explain ‘bhakthi’, he narrated how Rukmini’s devotion to Lord Krishna outshone Sathyabhama’s arrogance in the dance drama, and how Sathyabhama finally learnt the lessons of ‘bhakthi.’

To Mr. Murthy, each stage, even after three and a half decades of performing Kuchipudi, is his very first.

The stage has “a power”, which one gets to know “when you devote your time and dedicate yourself, cutting out all other interests, for learning dance”.

Dance, irrespective of any genre, has a “magical power”, and it is up to the dancer to explore the abundant potential of the art form, the veteran says.

According to Mr. Murthy, a real artist is one who has shed “the three letter word-ego”. An ‘aragettam’ does not make the artist supreme, rather it is only the beginning of a very long journey.

He pointed out how actor Hema Malini—with whom he had done over 400 shows— would always rehearse ahead of a programme so that the performance on stage would keep getting better.

 For Mr. Murthy, the guru-shishya relationship is pre-determined by Lord Brahma.

A dancer’s life is no bed of roses, and involves hard work, dedication and above all a passion for the art, he adds.